“The resiliency of the American Soldier doesn’t happen by accident. The support of the American worker for their armed forces plays a huge role,” he said.
Casey toured Lake City Army Ammunition Plant’s 7.62mm, 5.56mm and .50 caliber manufacturing areas to see how the Army is modernizing and expanding capacity.
“Lake City Army Ammunition Plant is a critical manufacturer of small caliber ammunition. We are using 20 million rounds per year in Afghanistan,” he said.
Between 80 and 90 percent of small caliber ammunition supplied to U.S. forces is produced at Lake City AAP. Casey saw how modernization efforts have made the plant’s processes and equipment better, safer and cheaper.
Throughout the plant a mix of equipment is used – – from state of the art machinery that had just been installed to equipment made in the 1940s.
The plant has increased its capacity from 400 million rounds annually to more than 1.4 billion rounds since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, and the Army has invested more than $350 million to expand and modernize.
“I’m out here on my first trip to Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, and I’m hugely impressed with what I’ve seen here. Lake City is part of the Army Material Command, one of our largest commands and as I travel around the country I try to get out and see the bits and pieces of this major command,” Casey said.
The Joint Munitions Command, located in Rock Island, Ill., a major subordinate command of AMC, manages Lake City AAP and other ammunition production and storage facilities and provides a global presence of technical support to front-line units.